Assistant Dean, Admissions & Financial Aid

Posted: August 3, 2021

University of San Diego School of Law
San Diego, CA

Summary of Position

The Assistant Dean provides the vision and administrative leadership for all functions related to law school JD admissions, diversity initiatives and financial aid programs.

Key responsibilities of this position include:

  • Serving as the law school’s chief admissions and financial aid officer.
  • Developing and managing all prospective student diversity initiatives.
  • Developing and implementing competitive marketing and recruitment strategies designed to strengthen the academic quality and diversity of the student body.
  • Utilizing a data-informed, comprehensive approach to building enrollment and strategically leveraging financial aid to meet JD enrollment, diversity and retention goals.
  • The Assistant Dean is responsible for administering the law school work-study program, for strategically distributing a $19M financial aid budget to 800+ students and balancing the LSAT/GPA qualifications of the incoming class to meet the goals of the law school.
  • The Assistant Dean works directly with potential students to encourage them to choose USD as their law school and, upon matriculation, works with them to encourage them to stay at USD.
  • The Assistant Dean reports to the Law School Dean and works collaboratively with the law school faculty, leadership team, alumni, and legal community.
  • This position requires travel and attendance at on and off campus events during and outside of normal business hours.
Education Required: Bachelor’s
Education Preferred: JD
Years of Experience Required: Five years of leadership experience in law school admissions and financial aid.

Additional Information

Duties & Responsibilities:

Admissions and Financial Aid

  • In collaboration with senior leadership, annually formulates enrollment targets and admission standards for the JD program.
  • Oversees the application review and admissions process, making admissions decisions and determining strategic financial aid allocations.
  • Serves as an ex-officio member of the faculty Admissions Committee.
  • Evaluates and determines parameters for financial aid packages for admitted and currently enrolled students with an eye towards increased yield and retention.
  • Oversees the law school federal work-study program by matching student resources with faculty and operational requests.
  • Works with the Development office to establish and promote fundraising efforts to increase donor giving to scholarship programs.
  • Works with faculty, students, administrators, and alumni to develop post-admission enrollment activities and events.
  • Prepares and presents comprehensive reports and data analyses related to admissions trends and demographics to the faculty, leadership team and law school constituents as needed.
  • Maintains positive working relationships with peers at other law schools to gain marketing information.

Marketing and Recruitment

  • Designs and directs a comprehensive marketing plan that results in a strong JD applicant pool and increased admissions yield.
  • Develops an annual plan for college and university visits for recruiting and public relations purposes such as organizing travel to LSAC forums and college events.
  • Devises targeted recruitment, marketing and communications efforts aimed at populations such as prospective part-time students, underrepresented populations, transfers, visitors, and scholarship-eligible candidates for law school.
  • Identifies, analyzes, and responds to market trends to renew or adapt recruitment strategies.
  • Ensures effective and professional communications with prospects, applicants, and admitted students. Oversees existing and crafts future legal education pipeline programs.
  • Plans and oversees annual yield events such as Campus Visit Days. This includes budgeting and tracking travel stipends extended to admitted applicants.

Diversity Initiatives

  • Develops and implements initiatives geared towards increasing the number of admitted students from historically underrepresented groups including students of color, disadvantage socio-economic backgrounds and LGBT groups.
  • Collaboratively works with Students Affairs to support educational and mentoring programs to assist diverse students in succeeding in law school.
  • Serves as a member of the Law School’s Diversity Task Force.

Administrative Duties

  • As a member of the senior administration team in the Law School, assists in the development of policies, goals, and priorities that are aligned with the school’s strategic plan and mission.
  • Hires, trains, supervises and evaluates administrators and staff of the Admissions and Financial Aid office.
  • Establishes departmental administrative policies and procedures that are internally consistent and integrated with other law school offices such as Alumni Relations, Career Services, JD Student Affairs, and Law School Records.
  • Effectively manages assigned budgets and costs.
  • Attends regular and ad hoc law school meetings and leads and serves on committees.
  • Represents the law school on standing and ad hoc University committees.
  • Participates in regional and national peer meetings and discussions, keeping up to date on the latest programs and policies of the LSAC, the ABA, and the AALS, as well as best practices in law school admissions and financial aid.

Job Requirements:

Qualifications: 

  • Five years of leadership experience in law school admissions and financial aid.
  • Advanced degree required
    • Bachelor's degree plus seven years of leadership experience in law school admissions and financial aid may be substituted for an advanced degree.
  • Demonstrated experience with ensuring compliance with all federal, state, and university regulations and policies as they relate to admissions and financial aid.
  • Demonstrated success with enrollment management, including developing, implementing, analyzing, evaluating, and revising an annual recruitment plan and admissions plan in collaboration with the law school faculty and administration.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop effective programs to advance the recruitment and retention of students from underrepresented ethnic and/or socio-economic backgrounds. 
  • Proven skills in using advanced features of enrollment, admissions, and financial aid software.
  • Demonstrated experience in managing department budgets and financial aid budgets.
  • Advanced data analysis skills. 
  • Marketing and public relations skills with an advanced understanding of the role of outreach in reaching enrollment goals.
  • Exceptional communication skills, including effective writing and public speaking.
  • Successful experience in staff supervision.
  • Valid driver’s license required and the ability to travel during peak recruitment periods.

How to Apply

Complete the online application.

Application Deadline: Open until filled